Have you ever wondered why buildings are covered under scaffolding, often times for years? And this summer, it seems that scaffolding, also known as a sidewalk shed, is going up on every block. Well, summer is the season for exterior work. It is when buildings comply with the Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP), formerly known as Local Law 11. After months of planning and funding, this is when scaffolding goes up and lots of Coop, Condo, and rental property residents start living in darkness for months or even years.
Who services the elevators in your building? This is done by a specific elevator service company, which the coop or condo has a service contract with. Our research shows that some buildings pay 100% more than others for these contracts. Don’t feel trapped by your elevator contract; find out if we can help you reduce the cost of your service contract by calling us today!
Elevator regulations are a big part of what dictates the safety and cost of elevators. In New York City, the Department of Buildings (DOB) is the regulator of elevators. As the result of increase in elevator accidents, in part due to aging elevators, the DOB has added four new regulations.
Two are already in place, while one is due in 2020 and another one in 2027.
When Gladys pressed the “9” button on the elevator panel, she heard a noise that could most generously be described as sounding like a train slamming into a wall. For most New Yorkers, this is a subconscious everyday fear, as each day involves multiple elevator rides.
Although there’s nothing as annoying as being stuck in traffic or a delayed subway, an elevator “out of service” sign for a 15-flight stair climb is not far behind.
Has your building installed a door lock monitor system? They are required by January 1, 2020.
You Have Two Ears and One Mouth- Use Them in That Proportion
Understanding the limitations of the staff, managing agent and fellow board-members is important. Although the staff reports to the managing agent, the managing agent reports to their firm first and ultimately to the board. The board then reports to the residents. The managing agent has, in most cases, multiple buildings with multiple emergencies such as leaks, fires, floods; and of course loose cats.
As the decision-maker, the board is in charge and needs to set the overall tone. Only when there are clear goals, systems and plans, will all of the involved parties in the organization thrive.
It is not uncommon that boards and residents tell us that their staff is lazy or is in “cahoots” with the managing agent. It is also not uncommon to hear that boards are unhappy with their managing agent. We could give you a very long list of all the reasons they think so, but in reality, the culprit is more often than not the board.
Identify what is required by law; what is urgent, what is needed; what would reduce ongoing costs; what residents want. Then, prioritize what all this entails. Most residents want to live in a safe home with an inviting and friendly atmosphere and probably with as many amenities as possible while paying as little as possible. This is not an easy task to realize, especially since the board members most likely all have jobs, families, other activities and commitments.
Have a Long-term Plan
Ask yourself, what is your ultimate desired outcome? Is it a more cost-efficient building, a greener building, more amenities to better compete with the new luxury condos or something else? Or, are you perfectly happy with the current state of your building and the yearly rate increase that you pass on to your residents and neighbors?